Shredding isn't dead. If anything, it will carry rock into the 22nd century thanks to Marnie Stern. The self-professed "lady shredder" shows how this technique, in the hands of a forward-thinking guitarist, can build soundscapes that are ecstatic, futuristic and courageous as hell.
Opening track "For Ash," which commemorates a boyfriend who committed suicide, sends the cliché of minor-key mourning through a diamond-studded garbage disposal. The dense, sparkling anthem is a celebration of life that recalls some of the Who's most magical moments. Meanwhile, "Nothing Left" unleashes guitar licks reminiscent of the Jimi Hendrix classic "Foxy Lady" into a postmodern soup of hyperactive drumming and Erase Errata-style vocals.
And that's just the prologue. Fans of Deerhoof, Lightning Bolt, Sonic Youth and Television will find lots to love in the next eight songs, but even if you haven't discovered these art-rock trailblazers, you should give this album a try.